Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 16:15

("Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.")
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Garment;   Good and Evil;   Jesus Continued;   Perseverance;   Righteous;   Temple;   Watchfulness;   Wicked (People);   Thompson Chain Reference - Coming, Second Coming of Christ;   Future, the;   Second Coming of Christ;   Unclothed;   Watchfulness;   The Topic Concordance - Alertness;   Blessings;   Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ;   Day of the Lord;   Gathering;   Israel/jews;   Nations;   War/weapons;   Wrath;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Blessed, the;   Second Coming of Christ, the;   Watchfulness;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Babylon;   Gog and Magog;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Blessing;   Millennium;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Armageddon;   Beatitudes;   Dead Sea Scrolls;   Shame;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Order;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Babylon, Mystical;   Idol;   Josiah;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Blessing and Cursing;   Esdraelon;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;   Esdraelon;   Plagues of Egypt;   Revelation, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Angels;   Blessedness;   Har-Magedon;   Perseverance;   Soberness Sobriety;   Thief ;   Watching;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Naked;   Vials;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Arment;   Name;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Gog and Magog;   Porters of the Temple;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Revelation of John:;   War;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Behold, I come as a thief - Here is a sudden but timely warning to put every man on his guard, when this sudden and generally unexpected tribulation should take place.

Keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked - Here is a plain allusion to the office of him who was called the prefect or overseer, of the mountain of the temple. His custom was to go his rounds during the watches of the night; and if he found any of the Levites sleeping on his watch, he had authority to beat him with a stick, and burn his vestments. See Middoth, fol. 34, 1, and Tamid. fol. 27, 2; 28, 1. Such a person being found on his return home naked, it was at once known that he had been found asleep at his post, had been beaten, and his clothes burnt; thus his shame was seen - he was reproached for his infidelity and irreligion.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-16.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Behold, I come as a thief - That is, suddenly and unexpectedly. See the Matthew 24:43 note; 1 Thessalonians 5:2 note. This is designed evidently to admonish people to watch, or to be in readiness for his coming, since, whenever it would occur, it would be at a time when people were not expecting him.

Blessed is he that watcheth - Compare Matthew 24:42-44. The meaning here is, that he who watches for these events, who marks the indications of their approach, and who is conscious of a preparation for them, is in a better and happier state of mind than he on whom they come suddenly and unexpectedly.

And keepeth his garments - The allusion here seems to be to one who, regardless of danger, or of the approach of an enemy, should lay aside his garments and lie down to sleep. Then the thief might come and take away his garments, leaving him naked. The essential idea, therefore, here, is the duty of vigilance. We are to be awake to duty and to danger; we are not to be found sleeping at our post; we are to be ready for death - ready for the coming of the Son of man.

Lest he walk naked - His raiment being carried away while he is asleep.

And they see his shame - Compare the notes on Revelation 3:18. The meaning here is, that, as Christians are clothed with the garments of righteousness, they should not lay them aside, so that their spiritual nakedness should be seen. They are to be always clothed with the robes of salvation; always ready for any event, however soon or suddenly it may come upon them.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-16.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

(Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.)

There is no need to write this in parentheses as in our version. This warning of the Second Advent of Christ has the utility of emphasizing the spiritual nature of the conflict and the individual responsibility of Christians not to be taken unaware. This forbids our looking for any great deployment of world armies in this "war." Absolutely nothing in this whole passage justifies the notion of massive world armies deployed in some gargantuan military conflict. The war in view here is taking place in the hearts of people.

Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments ... This verse is the order of the day for the soldiers of Christ. It is not preparation for a literal battle of some kind, but a matter of prayer and watchfulness, and of "keeping" one's garments of purity, morality, and fidelity to Christ. That a soldier metaphor is employed here seems certain. Bruce relates how:

According to the Mishna, the captains of the temple in Jerusalem went their rounds of the precincts at night, and if a member of the temple police was caught asleep at his post, his clothes were taken off and burned, and he was sent away naked in disgrace.[42]

There could be another hint of the same thing in Revelation 3:17,18. "The kind of spiritual preparedness that Christ requires is the discernment which cuts through the deceptive propaganda of Satan and his henchmen."[43] Of course, the great thrust of these verses is that, "the battle of the war" (Revelation 16:14) is a daily one in which "Christians are themselves engaged."[44] It is a war going on in people's hearts. What then is signaled or symbolized by Armageddon? See below.

[42] F. F. Bruce, A New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1969), p. 657.

[43] Robert H. Mounce, op. cit., p. 301.

[44] A. Plummer, op. cit., p. 396.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-16.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Behold I come as a thief,.... These are the words of Christ, inserted in a parenthesis in this account, before it is concluded, to acquaint his people with his near and sudden approach, and to give them a word of caution and exhortation in these times of difficulty; for he is the Lord God Almighty, who sent forth these angels to pour out their vials, and whose judgments are applauded as righteous, Revelation 16:1 and who so often in Revelation 22:7 says "I come quickly"; and which is to be understood not of his spiritual coming, which will be already at this time, but of his personal coming: and which will be "as a thief": as it is often expressed, 1 Thessalonians 5:2 not in the bad sense, to steal and kill, and to destroy, though Christ's coming will issue in the everlasting destruction of the wicked; but the phrase is designed to express the suddenness of his coming, and the surprise of it:

blessed is he that watcheth; against sin, the lusts of the flesh, and the cares of this life, lest they bring a sleepiness upon him, and so the day of the Lord come upon him at an unawares; and against Satan and his temptations, who goes about seeking whom he may devour; and against his emissaries and false teachers, who lie in wait to deceive; and blessed is he also who is wishing and waiting for the coming of Christ, and so, being ready, will enter with him into the marriage chamber, and partake of the supper of the Lamb:

and keepeth his garments: either his conversation garments, unspotted from the world, and whenever defiled washes them, and makes them white in the blood of the Lamb; and keeps them from being stripped of them, by those who would lead them into sinful ways; or that keeps and holds fast the robe of Christ's righteousness, and garments of his salvation, which are the righteousness of the saints, that fine linen clean and white, that white raiment which only can cover their nakedness, that the shame thereof does not appear, Revelation 19:8

lest he walk naked; ערום מן המצות F2Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 91. 3. , "naked of the commandments", or good works, according to the Jewish phrase; having lost, or dropped his conversation garments:

and they see his shame; or lest, being naked, he be exposed to shame and confusion, yea, to everlasting ruin and destruction; see Matthew 22:12 the allusion is to the burning of the garments of those priests who were found asleep when upon their watch in the temple: the account that is given is thisF3Misna Middot, c. 1. sect. 2. T. Bab. Tamid, fol. 27. 2. & 28. 1. Maimon. Beth Habbechira, c. 8. sect. 10. & Cele Hamikdash, c. 7. sect. 4. ;

"the man of the mountain of the house (the governor of the temple) goes round all the wards (every night) with burning torches before him; and in every ward where the person does not stand upon his feet, the man of the mountain of the house says to him, peace be to thee; if he finds he is asleep, he strikes him with his staff, and he has power to burn his clothes; and they say (in Jerusalem) what voice is that in the court? (it is answered) the voice of a Levite beaten, and his clothes burnt, because he slept in the time of his watch; R. Eliezer ben Jacob says, once they found my mother's brother asleep, and they burnt his clothes:'

now imagine with what shame the poor Levite so served must appear the next morning among his brethren, with his clothes burnt, and he naked; and with greater shame and confusions must he appear at the last day that is destitute of the righteousness of Christ.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-16.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

18 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

(18) A parenthesis for admonition, in which God warns his holy servants, who rest in the expectation of Christ, always to think of his coming, and to look to themselves, that they be not shamefully made naked and circumvented of these unclean spirits, and so they be miserable unprepared at the coming of the Lord; (Matthew 24:29), (Matthew 25:13).
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-16.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

The gathering of the world kings with the beast against the Lamb is the signal for Christ‘s coming; therefore He here gives the charge to be watching for His coming and clothed in the garments of justification and sanctification, so as to be accepted.

thief — (Matthew 24:43; 2 Peter 3:10).

they — saints and angels.

shame — literally, “unseemliness” (Greek, “{aschemosunee}”): Greek, 1 Corinthians 13:5: a different word from the Greek in Revelation 3:18 (Greek, “{aischunee}”).

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-16.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Behold, I come as a thief (ιδου ερχομαι ως κλεπτηςidou erchomai hōs kleptēs). The voice of Christ breaks in with the same metaphor as in Revelation 3:3, which see. There comes one of seven beatitudes in Rev (Revelation 1:3; Revelation 14:13; Revelation 16:15; Revelation 19:9; Revelation 20:6; Revelation 22:7, Revelation 22:14). For γρηγορωνgrēgorōn (watching) see Revelation 3:2, and for τηρωνtērōn (keeping), Revelation 1:3.

Lest he walk naked (ινα μη γυμνος περιπατηιhina mē gumnos peripatēi). Negative purpose clause with ινα μηhina mē and the present active subjunctive of περιπατεωperipateō and note predicate nominative γυμνοςgumnos (naked).

And they see his shame (και βλεπωσιν την ασχημοσυνην αυτουkai blepōsin tēn aschēmosunēn autou). Continuation of the final clause with present active subjunctive of βλεπωblepō ΑσχημοσυνηνAschēmosunēn is old word (from ασχημωνaschēmōn indecent, 1 Corinthians 12:23), in N.T. only here and Romans 1:27, a euphemism for την αισχυνηνtēn aischunēn (Revelation 3:18).

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-16.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Behold - shame

These words are parenthetical.

As a thief

Compare Matthew 24:43; Luke 12:39; 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:4; 2 Peter 3:10.

Watcheth ( γρηρορῶν )

See on Mark 13:35; see on 1 Peter 5:8.

Keepeth his garments

“During the night the captain of the Temple made his rounds. On his approach the guards had to rise and salute him in a particular manner. Any guard found asleep when on duty was beaten, or his garments were set on fire. The confession of one of the Rabbins is on record that, on a certain occasion, his own maternal uncle had actually undergone the punishment of having his clothes set on fire by the captain of the Temple” (Edersheim, “The Temple,” etc.).

Shame ( ἀσχημοσύνην )

Only here and Romans 1:27. From ἀ notand σχῆμα fashionDeformity, unseemliness; nearly answering to the phrase not in good form.

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-16.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Behold, I come as a thief — Suddenly, unexpectedly. Observe the beautiful abruptness.

I — Jesus Christ. Hear him.

Happy is he that watcheth. — Looking continually for him that "cometh quickly." And keepeth on his garments - Which men use to put off when they sleep.

Lest he walk naked, and they see his shame — Lest he lose the graces which he takes no care to keep, and others see his sin and punishment.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/revelation-16.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

The words of this verse seem to be intended as those of Christ; but their connection with the context is not obvious.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-16.html. 1878.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

KEEPING THE GARMENTS

‘Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest be walk naked, and they see his shame.’

Revelation 16:15

Let us consider some of the many reasons why the utmost carefulness and prayerfulness should mark the path of those who wear the ‘beautiful garments.’

I. The eye of the world is never so keen as when it is fixed on the follower of Christ. Nothing gives the world so much pleasure as finding some sin-spot on the Christian’s garments.

II. We must also constantly remember that the desire of Satan is always dogging our footsteps. You know what that desire is. He longs either to make us willingly place aside the garments of salvation or to bring us into ‘Vanity Fair,’ or some such place, where the robes of grace will be torn from our shoulders by his ever-ready helpers.

III. We must remember the defilement of the world around us.—That same wicked world which fixes its criticising eye upon us is full of uncleanness in itself. There may be a veneer of polish and respectability, but that is used as an attraction to the unwary child of God. If we would keep our garments of righteousness clean we must live a separated life.

—Rev. W. A. Challacombe.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/revelation-16.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Ver. 15. I come as a thief] Who gives no warning. {See Trapp on "Matthew 24:44"} I come suddenly, secretly, yea, and also violently and terribly. See Revelation 3:3; Luke 12:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:2.

Blessed is he that watcheth] The prophecy is here interrupted {as Genesis 49:18} to forewarn and forearm the saints; Luke 12:37-38; Luke 12:43, they are three times said to be blessed that watch.

And keepeth his garments] Keepeth himself unspotted of the world, undefiled in the way.

Lest he walk naked, &c.] See Revelation 3:18.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-16.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Revelation 16:15. Keepeth his garments This may be an allusion to what that Jewish officer, called the man of the mountain, (that is, of the Lord's house) used to do, when taking his round in the temple to examine the watch: if he met with any asleep, they were beaten by the provost, and had their garments taken away, and burnt; or, according to others, this officer had the liberty to set fire to their garments. Perhaps, in this case, the person might be obliged to appear in the fragments of his burnt garments the next day, which would be a great disgrace. See Ainsworth on Numbers 18:4-5 <swordsearcher://bible/Nu18.4-5>.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/revelation-16.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

These consolatory words of Christ seem to be inserted here for the support of the faithful servants of God, against those great preparations of the enemy in the day of battle.

Behold, says Christ, I then come as a thief, secretly, suddenly, and unexpectedly, to destroy these enemies when they least expect me; and then I am at hand to take vengeance on them, and to deliver my church when they least think of me: Blessed is he that watcheth, namely, against those temptations which he will be then exposed to: and keepeth his garments, that is, his profession unspotted from sin, and the defilements of antichrist; lest he walk naked, that is, appear as a man destitute of uprightness and sincerity; and they see his shame, which ever follows upon a sinful course.

Note here, 1. That when Christ comes, he comes suddenly, even as a thief cometh.

2. That although Christ comes suddenly, and as a thief; yet he is pleased to give us warning of his coming: Behold, I come.

3. That when Christ's coming is near at hand, there is danger that many for want of watchfulness will lose their garments.

4. That is, to such as through negligence shall lose their garments, this misery will befall them; they shall walk naked, and men shall see their shame.

5. That those few who watch and keep their garments, are certainly in a happy and blessed condition: Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-16.html. 1700-1703.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 16:15. τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην) ערוה, the LXX. generally render ἀσχημοσύνη.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-16.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

I come as a thief; that is, I come suddenly and unexpectedly: see Matthew 24:43,44 Lu 12:39 1 Thessalonians 5:2 Revelation 3:3. It may be understood either of Christ’s coming to the last judgment, or of his coming in his vindicative providence to be revenged on his enemies.

Blessed is he that watcheth, he is a happy man that maketh it his business to keep himself from sin, in prospect of any such coming,

and keepeth his garments, and that persevereth in my ways and truth;

lest he walk naked, and they see his shame; for if he doth not, he will be found one of those that are not clothed with my righteousness, and his hypocrisy will appear to all men.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-16.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

блажен См. пояснение к 1:3.

бодрствующий и хранящий одежду свою Наш Господь подчеркивает, что необходимо всегда быть готовым к Его второму пришествию (ср. 1Ин. 2:28). Образ рисует воина, готового к сражению, или домовладельца, предупреждающего действия вора (см. также 3:3; 1Фес. 5:2, 4; 2Пет. 3:10).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-16.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

As a thief; suddenly, unexpectedly. A solemn intimation that the day here spoken of will come suddenly and unexpectedly, and find multitudes unprepared for its approach.

Watcheth, and keepeth his garments; is awake and active in duty.

Lest he walk naked; as a man would whose garments, through his carelessness, had been stolen.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-16.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

(2) A parenthesis of beatitudes--16:15.

Among the portents of persecution and catastrophe of the apocalypse, there are to be found declarations of consummate bliss and blessedness in a series of beatitudes. This cluster of precious and promising assurances to besieged, encompassed and beleaguered Christians shine through the text of Revelation with the brightest luster, like diamonds that flash and send forth a thousand rays as the sun falls upon them. These apocalyptic beatitudes, seven in number, are collated with comments in chapter 22:14. One of these scintillating assurances mingled with ominous overtones is in this verse: "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."

The warning words of verse fifteen are the interposition of another parenthetical beatitude comparable to chapter 1:3 and 14:13. A blessing is pronounced on all that watch, for God would come in these events as a thief. The phrase as a thief does not indicate the element of surprise, but rather of preparedness. Jesus gave the signs of these events in Matthew 24:25 : "Behold, I have told you before"; and in Verse 33, "so likewise ye, when he shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors." This same event must have been the object of Paul's exhortation to the Thessalonians, first epistle, chapter 5:1-4, in reference to "the day of the Lord," saying that they were "not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief"-- that is, having knowledge of it, they would abide in preparation for the ominous events.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-16.html. 1966.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jesus Christ Himself evidently gave this parenthetic invitation and warning (cf. Revelation 3:3; Revelation 3:18). His second coming will be as a thief in that it will be sudden, and His enemies will not expect it (cf. Matthew 24:43; Luke 12:39; 1 Thessalonians 5:2). Believers who understand the revelation of this book, on the other hand, will be expecting His return. Christ"s coming for the church will not be as a thief because the church is looking for His return ( 1 Thessalonians 5:4; Titus 2:13). Jesus Christ urged these faithful believers to be watchful and pure (cf. Matthew 25:1-30). [Note: Walvoord, The Revelation . . ., p238; Smith, A Revelation . . ., p235; Newell, p258.] The alternative is embarrassment (cf. Exodus 20:26; Leviticus 18:6-19; Deuteronomy 23:14; Isaiah 47:3; Ezekiel 16:37; Ezekiel 23:24-29; Hosea 2:10; Nahum 3:5). This is the third of the seven beatitudes in Revelation (cf. Revelation 1:3; Revelation 14:13; Revelation 19:9; Revelation 20:6; Revelation 22:7; Revelation 22:14).

Another interpretation sees this encouragement as directed to the Christian readers of this prophecy during the church age, before the Tribulation begins. Advocates of this view point out that by the sixth bowl believers who have not taken refuge ( Revelation 12:13-17) will have suffered martyrdom ( Revelation 13:15; Revelation 14:1-5; Revelation 14:13; Revelation 15:2). Therefore, according to this view, there will be no believers on the earth by the time the sixth bowl judgment occurs.

"The close similarity to Revelation 3:3; Revelation 3:18 and the parenthetical nature of the announcement favor the latter alternative [i.e, this view]." [Note: Thomas, Revelation 8-22, p267.]

I think this verse is a general word of encouragement addressed to believers in the Great Tribulation, in view of the context, but applicable to believers in the church age. If believers do not understand that Jesus Christ will return very soon, they may behave in ways that will be embarrassing when He does return, at the Rapture and the Second Coming.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-16.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 16:15. The wonderful character of the great day of God, and of the issues that belong to it, leads to the interposition of this verse.

Behold, I come as a thief. The Lord Himself speaks, not the Seer in His name. The words are those of Matthew 24:1; Matthew 25:1, Mark 13:34, Luke 12:37, and they embrace the thought both of the suddenness of Christ’s coming, and of the destruction which it brings with it to the wicked (comp. on chap. Revelation 3:3). In the remaining words of the verse the Seer seems to take up the strain, as he pronounces blessedness upon him who is ready for the events of the day so rapidly approaching. Similar parentheses occur at chaps. Revelation 13:9 and Revelation 14:12.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-16.html. 1879-90.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

While the forces of evil are assembling, Jesus warns he will come in a sudden, unannounced manner. (Compare ; 2 Peter 3:10; Matthew 24:42-44) "Watcheth" and "keepeth" are words which denote continuous action. Coffman quotes F. F. Bruce who says the captains of the Jerusalem temple would burn the clothes of any guard found sleeping at his post. He would flee naked and ashamed.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-16.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

This verse forms a parenthesis.

come, &c. See 1 Thessalonians 6:2.

Blessed. See Revelation 1:3.

lest = in order that (Greek. hina) not (App-105).

see. App-133.

shame. The Greek word only here and Romans 1:27 (unseemly).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-16.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

The gathering of the world-kings with the beast against the Lamb presages Christ's coming; therefore He here gives the charge to be watching for His coming, clothed in the garments of justification and sanctification.

Thief - (Matthew 24:43; 2 Peter 3:10.)

They - saints and angels.

Shame - `unseemliness' [ ascheemosuneen (Greek #808), 1 Corinthians 13:5; different from Revelation 3:18, aischunee (Greek #152)].

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-16.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(15) Behold, I come . . .—Translate, Behold, I come as a thief. It is the oft-repeated Scripture warning (Revelation 3:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3; 2 Peter 3:10. Comp. Luke 12:35-40). It reminds us not only that our Lord may come unexpectedly, but that He may even come and we be unaware. There is one day when He will come, and every eye will behold Him; but He comes in various ways and forms to bless and to test man. Blessed are they who are ready, watching. But vigilance is not enough: the garments must be kept. The powers of evil are abroad. Sloth and pleasure may counsel ease, and tempt the watcher to lay aside his garments and take rest and sleep. The earnest watcher desires, like St. Paul, to be found in Christ, clad in the true righteousness of faith (Philippians 3:9).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
I come
3:3; Matthew 24:43; 1 Thessalonians 5:2,3; 2 Peter 3:10
Blessed
Matthew 24:42; 25:13; 26:41; Mark 13:33-37; 14:38; Luke 12:37-43; 21:36; Acts 20:31; 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Peter 4:7
lest
3:4,18; Exodus 32:25; Isaiah 47:3; Ezekiel 16:37; Hosea 2:3; Habakkuk 2:15; 2 Corinthians 5:3
Reciprocal: Genesis 3:10 - because;  Genesis 38:23 - lest we;  Judges 7:19 - in the beginning;  2 Chronicles 28:19 - made Judah;  Ecclesiastes 9:8 - thy garments;  Lamentations 4:21 - and shalt;  Matthew 22:11 - which;  Matthew 24:36 - GeneralMatthew 24:46 - GeneralMatthew 25:6 - at;  Luke 12:39 - GeneralLuke 12:46 - lord;  Luke 21:35 - as;  1 Corinthians 16:13 - Watch;  Revelation 3:2 - watchful;  Revelation 3:17 - naked

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-16.html.

Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on Revelation

The Swift And Sudden Advent.

Revelation 16:15.

These are words specially for the last days. They suite all times, no doubt—for Christ is ever coming; the last trumpet is ever about to sound; the fire is ever ready to be kindled; the Judge is ever at the door! But they suit the last days best, and are meant for these. With eighteen hundred years behind us now, we may take them home most solemnly to ourselves—

(1) They warn.

(2) They quicken.

(3) They rouse.

(4) They comfort.

I. The COMING.It is the long-promised advent. Christ comes! He comes—

(1) as Avenger

(2) as Judge

(3) as King

(4) as Bridegroom.

The same Jesus who left the earth is about to return to it. "Behold!" He says to a blind, heedless world. "Behold!" He says to a cold and slumbering Church. "I come!" He is herald to Himself. "As a thief"—at midnight; when men are asleep; when darkness lies on earth; when men are least expecting Him; when they have lain down, saying, "Peace and safety." "Behold, I come like a thief!" Without warning, though with vengeance for the world in His hand—when all past warnings of judgment have been unheeded. Without further message—for all past messages have been vain. Like lightening—like a thief—like a snare. Like lightning to the world—but the Sun of morning to His Church. Like a thief to the world—but like a bridegroom to the Church. Like a snare to the world—but like the cloud of glory to His own.

II. The WATCHING.Not believing, nor hoping, nor waiting merely; but watching—as men do for some special event—whether terrible or joyful, of which they know not the time. Waiting was the posture of the Jewish Church for the first advent; watching is ours for the second. Watch, said the Master. Watch, said the servants in primitive times. Watch, we say still, for you know neither the day nor the hour of His arrival. Watch, for that day is great and glorious. Watch, for you are naturally disposed to sit down and take your ease. Watch, for Satan tries to lull you asleep. Watch, for the world, with it riches, and vanities, and pleasures, is trying to throw you off your guard. Watch upon your knees. Watch with your Bibles before you. Watch with wide-open eye. Watch for Him whom not having seen, you love.

III. The keeping of the GARMENTS.Be like Nehemiah, who, when watching against the Ammonites, did not put off his clothes night nor day. Keep your garments all about you, that when the Lord comes He may find you not naked, but robed and ready. Do not cast off your clothing either for sleep or for work. Do not let the world strip you of it. Keep it and hold it fast. It is heavenly clothing, and without it you cannot go in with your Lord when He comes.

IV. The BLESSEDNESS.Blessed is the watcher; blessed is the keeper of his garments. Many are the blessed ones; here is one class specially for the last days. How much we lose by not watching and not keeping our garments! (1) Watching is blessed, for it cherishes our love. (2) Watching is blessed, for it is one of the ways of maintaining our communion. (3) Watching is blessed, for it is the posture through which He has appointed blessing to come, in His absence, to His waiting Church.

V. The WARNING.Lest you walk naked, and men see your shame. "Shame" has three meanings—(1) the shameful thing or object; (2) the feeling of shame produced by the consciousness of the shameful thing; and (3) the exposure to shame and scorn from others. The first of these is specially referred to here. But all the three are connected.

Adam was ashamed at being found naked when the Lord came down to meet him; how much more of shame and terror shall be to unready souls at meeting with a returning Lord! It will be the beginning of shame and everlasting contempt. They shall be put to shame before men and angels; they shall be overwhelmed with confusion before the great white throne. The universe shall see their shame. O false disciple, come out of your delusion and hypocrisy, lest you be exposed in that day of revelation! O sinner, make yourself ready, for the day of vengeance is at hand!

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Bonar, Horatius. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bch/revelation-16.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

This verse is in the nature of a parenthesis because it speaks of the coming of Christ, at which time all things on the earth will end. But the preceding verse mentions a battle that is to continue until that event, and the verse following our present one will go back to the beginning of that battle as to its coverage of time.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-16.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 16:15

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Before the success of this hellish negotiation, we have in this verse a warning word to watch and keep our garments.

Behold, I come as a thief.

The second coming of our blessed and beloved Lord Jesus Christ will be as a thief; that Isaiah, unexpectedly, { 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 3:3} as a thief in a dark time, in a midnight dispensation of great darkness. { Isaiah 60:1-3; Matthew 25:6-44} By

keeping our garments

we may understand, first, keeping our gospel profession unspotted of the world. { James 1:27} Secondly, keeping the faith. { 1 Timothy 3:9; 1 Timothy 5:22} Keep thy self-pure; white, and clean; which is the righteousness of saints, { Revelation 19:8}

Lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

The scandalous sins and disorderly walking of gospel professors discover their nakedness to the men of the world, who see their shameful behaviour, and sinful conversation, to the dishonour of God, and shame of their profession.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-16.html.

Harold Norris' Commentary on the Book of Revelation

ONE OF THE SEVEN BEATITUDES OF REVELATION

3.

"Blessed is he who is awake, keeping his garments" ( Revelation 16:15). Previously we listed the garments Christ gave us as: Salvation Isaiah 61:10 Righteousness Isaiah 64:6 Praise Isaiah 61:3 Humility 1 Peter 5:5

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Revelation 16:15. Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he who watches and keeps his garments, that he may not walk naked, and they may not see his shame. That Christ is the speaker, is manifest from a comparison of ch. Revelation 3:3, and from a reference also to the fundamental passages in the Gospels. Yet the words stand immediately connected with what precedes. The "great day of God the Almighty" is also as certainly the day of Christ, as it is certain that the Father has committed all judgment to the Son. The allusion to the judgment, which threatens destruction to the enemies of the church, calls forth an admonition from the Lord to his own people. Whoever belongs outwardly alone to the church, but is internally united to the world, shall also be condemned with the world. Believers, too, are in the world, and the world has a troublesome ally in their hearts. When the world, therefore, rises up to fight against the Lord and against his anointed, it will be extremely difficult for them to watch, and keep their garments. In this respect a symbolical meaning may be found in the young man mentioned in Mark 14:51-52, "And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him; and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked." Not merely does fear urge them, but also inclination. Nothing can here preserve them but a fixed eye directed to the coming of the Lord. We have already remarked, that the great day of the Lord is the collective result of all his judgments on the ungodly world. In the historical realization it manifests itself in an entire series of calamities. At each of them, and hence also in those, which are now proceeding before our eyes, the word, "Behold I come quickly," &c., a sort of miniature representation of the seven epistles, acquires new meaning; the letters, which in ordinary quiet times are dark, become then transparent.

Clothing, when it is used figuratively, is elsewhere usually a symbol of the state and condition; sinners bear filthy clothing, the justified pure, the righteous have white; comp. on ch. Revelation 7:11. In this sense is the clothing mentioned here. The address is to Christians, so that the garments denote the Christian state. The world could not have been addressed so. The important thing for it is not to keep its garments, but to change them. The word in ch. Revelation 3:11, "Hold that which thou hast," corresponds. Bengel, "Watch—garments. Two parts, which belong together and go together. When going to sleep one lays aside his garments, but when awake one keeps them. Now, if something suddenly happens, such as the arrival of the Lord, one who is asleep does not readily get himself clothed, but he who is in a wakeful attitude, is safe also in respect to his clothing." In the words, "that he may not walk naked, and that they may not see his shame," (his indecorous or scandalously naked state), it is more precisely indicated wherein the blessedness consists;[Note: So also the mode of coming at the blessedness is more definitely described in ch. 14:13, 22:14. The right pointing of this verse is the following: μακάριος ὁ γρηγορῶν καὶ τηρῶν τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ, ἵνα μὴ γυμνὸς περιπατῇ καὶ βλέπωσι τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην αὐτοῦ.] in this, namely, that men's destitution of what constitutes a Christian state may not be exhibited before all the world, to their great disgrace and painful humiliation, ("where there is but a little modesty, nakedness is very annoying, or even quite insupportable.") How much hangs on the blessedness and the threatening here pronounced, the year 1848 has afforded many an occasion for enabling us vividly to realize. We must beforehand keep our garments, if we would not be overtaken by that coming of the Lord, which pervades all history (comp. on ch. Revelation 1:1; Revelation 1:7), and appear in a shameful state of nakedness. The nakedness here is not the guilt, but the punishment; by means of the judgment the nakedness, which existed already, becomes a matter of public shame. It is not the being naked, but the walking naked, that is mentioned; and the clause, "and that they may not see his shame," serves as an explanation of the walking naked. The detected are the naked; the seeing of the shame appears often in the Old Testament as a threatening and punishment. Thus in Isaiah 3:17, Isaiah 47:3, "thy nakedness shall be discovered, and thy shame seen;" Hosea 2:10, "And now will I discover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers;" Nahum 3:5, "Behold I am against thee, saith the Lord of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame."

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-16.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

15.Behold—A solemn warning to watchfulness against being seduced by the spirits of devils into the antichristic army. He who is “the way, the truth, and the life,” steals upon us in the midst of these vain shows “as a thief;”—”a thief,” not in his hostile purpose, but in his difficulty of recognition. Yet unless one watcheth and keepeth his garments he will be left to nakedness and shame. The loose garments of the oriental sleeper are easily purloined, and the victim is liable, when he wakes, to walk naked. His safeguard is vigilance.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 16:15". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-16.html. 1874-1909.